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HK-style chicken pie?

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The Kee Wah Dublin led me to remember something I've been trying to find around here for years. It's the Hong Kong style chicken pie.

Kee Wah and other local places serve what I call an Americanized version of chicken pie in which the pie is more like a puff pastry and is filled with a small amount of drier chicken filling. The pie is kept warm under warming lights.

This differs entirely from the HK-style pies which are made once a day in small batches and are not kept warm under lights since they always sell out by noon. Their shape is in a true pie form, and they are served in little tin dishes. The size is much, much smaller, and the crust is much crumblier and buttery. The crust to filling ratio is much lower, and the filling itself is more moist.

I have attached a small photo of what they look like.

There's also a third style of Chinese Chicken Pie which you can find in Vancouver, and it differs entirely from the SF and HK variants, but I digress. Has anybody found what I'm talking about in SF, or is it just not done?

- Jon

 
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  1. The one in your photo is the kind I grew up eating in SF! It's been a while (and I should really investigate) but my mom used to buy some for me from Cafe Bakery on Noriega St. I haven't had one in ages so I don't know if they still have it.

    TC Pastry on Irving used to have them as well.
    2222 Irving Street
    San Francisco, CA 94122

    -----
    Cafe Bakery
    1365 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122

    3 Replies
    1. re: manda

      Thanks for the tip.....I have been complaining about the chicken pies ever since I arrived in '89! How about curry pies filled with gound beef (I think it's beef) that are like flaky puff pastries? I used to enjoy them in Hong Kong but have not been able to find good ones in the SF Bay Area. There's one bakery in Oakland that's decent but I suspect that there may be better. I can look up the address if you're interested.

      1. re: waisicchai

        ^ NIce sn...lol...

        I take back the TC Pastry rec. I went today and they don't use that sort of buttery crust with the criss crossed pattern on top. I'm really having a hard time recalling which places had this chicken pie because the last time I had it, it was really really good. I wonder if the Sheng Kee on Irving might have it - I'm trying to think of a place that was using the warming cases for the pies.

        I don't think I've eaten a curry beef puff pastry in a really really long time. Are they more moon-shaped or round versus the rectangular shaped char siu puff pastry?

        Cafe Bakery makes a deep fried curry beef bun. Oy!

        I guess I'll scout out a few Sunset locations for the chicken pie.

        1. re: manda

          The ones in Oakland, I think the place is called Princess Bakery (by C-town on 13th between Harrison and Webster), are like half circle and a bit of a puff pastry. Not in rectangular shape.

          I'll check out the curry beef bun next time I'm in the area, thanks!

          I look forward to what you find regarding the chicken pie.

    2. The ones at the Red House look very much like the one in your picture. Parking is easier than the Avenues.

      The filling is hand cut in very uniform pieces. The crust is very flaky and a little sweet for my taste. But it is one of the better ones in the City.

      Red House Bakery
      2818 San Bruno Ave
      San Francisco, CA 94134

      2 Replies
      1. re: yimster

        Red House Bakery also makes curry beef pastries, I think, and I've seen them at TC Pastry, too..

        1. re: Nancy Berry

          I wish they did make the curry beef turnover but the last two time I asked and they did not have them.

      2. I think sunset bakery, 1410-9th ave has them, "guy pie" I call them. Also, my mom and sister were raving about the "guy pie" they had at Asia Pearl, Millbrae, during their dim sum service last monday, but they didn't have them today.

        1. Thanks for the tips. Next time we head up to the city, I'll give Cafe Bakery a shot. Yelp also seems to agree with the sentiments that their baked stuff is good as a whole, which is a good sign.

          1. Delicious Food Co. in Oakland has both the chicken pie (mini pot pie version, but smooth topped, not crisscrossed) and curry beef puff pastries. I didn't like the chicken pie - the gravy was so thick it was like pudding, and there wasn't much chicken... I haven't had the curry beef puff pastry, but I'm not very discerning when it comes to those things - as long as they're not too salty and the pastry's not soggy, I find them pretty tasty across the board.

            -----
            Delicious Foods
            734 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607

            1 Reply
            1. re: daveena

              If the filling is too thick, that's usually an indication that it's been sitting out long enough for the fat in the gravy to turn into gelatin (happens whenever you buy home and let it sit overnight). If the pie was actually warm or hot though, then that's just a case of too much cornstarch or thickening agent.

              - Jon